If Green Cross is able to inspire one single Australian leader towards a shift in personal values - we will be that much closer to achieving our mission of fostering a secure and sustainable future.
In 2011, Green Cross Australia formed a partnership with Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd to support our first Values Leadership event 'A Conversation with the Dalai Lama on Values in Leadership, Environmental Thinking and the Action Required' in what will become an annual series.
On Friday June 17 2011, a special gathering of 700 business and community leaders had the unique chance to build a personal heart connection about our precious environment.
The event was moderated by Sandra Sully.
Thanks to all of our friends who came along.
The proceeds from this event went towards enabling His Holiness' Brisbane public events to be free or very low cost for the public. Green Cross is proud to lend our support to this special luncheon in order to advance our mission.
Green Cross Australia has a special connection with His Holiness. Green Cross International founder Mikhail Gorbachev received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, the year after the Dalai Lama became a Nobel Laureate.
Concerns about climate change were at the forefront of the Rio Summit of 1992, when the world for the first time committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some 190 countries including the United States ratified Rio's United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Green Cross was founded at the 1992 Rio Summit, where 172 governments came together with some 2,400 representatives of NGOs and 17,000 people at a parallel NGO "Global Forum".
This is what His Holiness said in Rio:
I am extremely happy and feel great honor to be with you here. My basic belief is that the purpose of our life is happiness, and happiness depends on its own basis. I believe the basic base, or the cause of happiness and satisfaction, is material and spiritual development.
Then again, human beings irrespective of our ability, knowledge, technology, are basically a product of nature. So therefore, ultimately, our own fate very much depends on nature.
In ancient times I think, when human activity was limited, we were very aware of the importance of nature; and so we respected nature. Then the time came when we developed through science and technology; and we had more ability. Now sometimes it seems people forget about the importance of nature. Sometimes we get some kind of wrong belief that we human beings can control nature with the help of technology. Of course, in certain limited areas we can to a certain extent. But with the globe as a whole it is impossible. Therefore now the time has come to be aware of the importance of nature, the importance of our globe. You see, one day we might find that all living things on this planet - including human beings - are doomed.
I think one danger is that things like nuclear war are an immediate cause of concern so everybody realizes something is horrible. But damages to the environment happen gradually without much awareness. Once we realize something very obvious to everybody it may be too late. So therefore I think we must realize in time our responsibility is to take care of our own world.
I often tell people that the moon and stars when remaining high in the sky look very beautiful, like an ornament. But if we really try to go and settle there on the moon, perhaps a few days may be very nice and some new experience may be very exciting. But if we really remain there, I think within a few days we would get very homesick for our small planet. So this is our only home. Therefore, I think this kind of gathering [1992 Rio Summit] concerning our environment and the planet is very useful, very important and timely.
And of course things are now easy, so I don't think all problems could be solved at once through such meetings. However, this kind of meeting is very helpful to open eyes.
So, once the human mind wakes up - humans have such intelligence - we may find certain ways and means to solve problems. But sometimes we just take everything for granted and don't care, and this kind of negligence is also a danger. So, such meetings on a critical situation, if approached with an open human mind and eyes, are important and useful.
These are my feelings. Thank you!
Nearly 20 years after the Rio Summit when great minds and hearts embraced the challenge of protecting our planet's fragile atmosphere - Green Cross now has offices in 30 countries including our young Australian office which is pioneering partnership models for supporting communities through the bushfires, floods and cyclones of the early 21st century.
Green Cross Australia and Dalai Lama in Australia welcomed business and community leaders to a special luncheon where a spiritual leader who has inspired millions spoke.